Sunday, May 8, 2016
Not just Mothers Day, mind you, but the fifth anniversary of the last day I spent with my son. Tomorrow will be the fifth anniversary of the last time I hugged him goodbye. September will be the fifth anniversary of his death. "The years keep rolling by, but ah, the days are long," goes one of the saddest songs by The Walkmen. Someone who lost his brother wrote the other day that with each anniversary it gets harder. How do we survive the unsurvivable then? We don't. We die and are replaced by someone who can. That someone is us now. I used to be a sad person. Now I don't allow myself to be sad. I almost never cry. I can't go there. I try to get away from myself. I try to think of myself in the third person. Yes, how sad for her. Such a pity. But I can't feel like that person. Except when I don't have a choice. When my body takes over. Like last night when I went to bed. I felt like a balloon under my diaphragm was pressing on my heart, trying to suffocate it. I felt like I was dying. It's still there. I cried a little here and there, mostly reading other women's accounts of loss. It seems that half the things I read about mothers today were sad. See, you're not unique. Get over yourself. But I can't. The balloon is still there. It's like I'm holding my breath, while still breathing. I think of cancer often, a lot. It's the only death I'm familiar with and I hope for it to rescue me. Because it only gets harder. And how can I bear it? And how can I be this person I am not? Why is she still here? I don't want to be her. I don't want to be the person who survived her son's death for five years. I want it to be over. Now.